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Rare Mutation Leaves People Without Fingerprints


It's a criminal's dream mutation: to be born without fingerprints. In fact, Daily Mail reported John Dillinger, a famous Chicagoan bank robber from the 1930s, had his burned off with acid so he couldn't be identified by them.

From a scientific standpoint though, there is a reason someone is born without fingerprints and it can be correlated with other symptoms, beyond just an inconvenience when posed with a finger scanner, as well. Recent research out of Tel Aviv University in Israel on adermatoglyphia, or Immigration Delay Disease, has found the mutation on the SMARCAD1 gene, which influences finger development.

Watch the scientists describe their findings:

According to the research, this gene may also be correlated with sweat gland development, as patients without finger prints often also have fewer sweat glands. Further research will investigate if and how this gene could be related to other skin diseases.

Fingerprints, according to the FBI, are the ultimate personal identifier, as no two people's fingerprints are alike:

Fingerprints offer an infallible means of personal identification. Other personal characteristics may change, but fingerprints do not.

The Daily Mail reported that the disease was first identified when a Swiss woman tried to come to the United States. When asked to take her finger prints, the woman said it would be impossible. She and nine other members of her family have the mutation.

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